Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has passed away Monday night at age 87, from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
The news came just a week after Las Vegas Sands Corp announced the founding chairman's leave for cancer treatment. The billionaire casino owner, philanthropist and political mega-donor was CEO for Las Vegas Sands, whose portfolio includes the Venetian Resort and Sands Expo in Las Vegas, Singapore's Marina Bay Sands, as well as several Macau properties under its Sands China arm.
In a statement released Tuesday, 12 January, Las Vegas Sands confirmed Adelson's passing and documented his achievements in the integrated resort and hospitality industries.
"In Las Vegas, Macao and Singapore, Mr Adelson's vision for integrated resorts transformed the industry, changed the trajectory of the company he founded, and reimagined tourism in each of those markets. His impact on the industry will be everlasting.
"Mr Adelson was the first employee of Las Vegas Sands — 'Team Member Number One' he liked to say. Today, more than 50,000 Sands team members have Dr Adelson and the entire Adelson family in their thoughts and prayers and are grateful to have had their lives touched by a true force of nature."
The statement went on to describe Adelson's response to the pandemic, which was that employees globally continued to receive full salaries and health care benefits, despite company building closures.
Las Vegas Sands spoke of the visionary leader's humble beginnings as the son of Jewish immigrant parents in Boston to becoming "one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs".
Adelson's Las Vegas career took off with the launch of the computer trade show Comdex in 1979. Ten years later, Adelson together with some business partners purchased the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, and in the next one year, opened the adjacent Sands Expo and Convention Center. Italian-themed casino-hotel, the Venetian Las Vegas opened its doors in 1999, after he and his wife, Dr Miriam Adelson, honeymooned in Venice.
Inroads into Asia started in 2004 with Sands Macao in Macau. The expansion went on to include the Venetian Macao, the Parisian Macao, Plaza Macao, and Sands Cotai Central. Singapore's Marina Bay Sands entered the portfolio in 2010.
The Macau government released a statement with condolences, noting that Adelson had “led and fostered the Sands group’s development in Macau”.
Dr Miriam Adelson, in a statement, spoke of her husband's love for philanthropy, political activism and enterprise.
"Visit any of our hotels and you will immediately notice the extraordinarily high ceilings, exquisitely designed by Sheldon at a sacrifice of lucrative space. He wanted all of our guests — no matter their means — to feel like kings, to breathe free in gorgeous tranquility," she shared in a statement. "When the Covid-19 crisis hit and those hotels went dark, he insisted that our tens of thousands of Team Members continue getting their wages and medical insurance."
She gave credit as well to her husband for crafting "the course of nations". In addition to his success within the gaming sector, Adelson was also known for his sizable donations to Jewish causes and political campaigns.
A funeral will be held in Israel, the birthplace of Miriam Adelson, with plans for a memorial service held in Las Vegas to be announced at a later date.